Kicking up a Storm
Driving towards our destination at Lake Glenmaggie I couldn’t help but notice how easy it was to tow the new Goldstream camper. As much as it’s nice to have all the luxuries of a big caravan, some people just find dragging around a monster van a bit of a chore. Not so the Goldstream Storm. Even down winding roads and through crowded towns it’s stress free and out on the open road we could fit in with the traffic flow and overtake trucks up hill.
This Storm is the latest version of the popular line of poptops and sports the new composite exterior that the company is offering into its range for a modern clean and upmarket appearance. Like a lot of Goldstream products the full name of this version is a bit of a mouthful. It’s a Goldstream RV Gold Storm Vacationer Series 3, with the last bit indicating a model that has a load of the most common options included at an attractive price.
On the road the outfit looks striking with the bright white side decorated with green and black splashes highlighted by deep black alloy wheels. The low profile in travel mode means the trailer was well tucked in behind the Landcruiser creating less wind resistance and better fuel economy.
Before heading inside Shaun and Mitch from Goldstream pointed out some of the exterior features of the Vacationer. At the drawbar a 12 pin plug makes it easy to connect the trailer to the car’s charging system without adding on an Anderson plug and the 3500kg 50mm ball coupling keeps things simple but probably restricts travel in any extreme off-roading.
The Duragal chassis is neatly finished and a single 9kg bottle sits on the drawbar. Suspension comprises beefed-up leaf springs with eye to eye shackles and single shock absorbers each side on a beam axle and the impressive black alloy wheels are fitted with 10.5×15” off-road tyres.
At the rear is a single spare tyre, set into a neat fibreglass end cone and all exterior lighting is bright LED including an overhead wide beam that illuminates the space under the annex.
Setting up the Storm was an easy process and took only a few minutes. It’s a straightforward matter of winding up the roof, extending the beds on sturdy runners, setting the bed braces and a quick tidy up.
Once erected there is a surprising amount of room inside to move around and with the dinette converted to a bed there is accommodation for up to six adults. That’s more than most caravans!
There are four variations of the Storm in the range with the RL Vacationer fitting a niche as a family oriented off road rig with the ability for limited free camping.
As mentioned, Goldstream have packed the Vacationer with standard features and amongst these the power options make a lot of sense for families or couples wanting to spend time in the bush or in the cheaper non-powered sites in caravan parks. Why pay for power if you can provide it free yourself?
To this end there’s an 80w solar panel on the roof and a high quality charging system topping up an 80ahm deep cycle battery. Power from the tow vehicle as well as 240v is managed by a Juta CM3024Z 30amp regulator and a 7amp Ctek MX5-7 charger that are easily accessed in the front boot.
Along with the electronics, extra inclusions over the standard Storm include a 3.5m Fiamma awning, which can be rolled out in around 30 seconds, bed end flys and a pair of 20L jerry cans. In the kitchen there’s a Thetford 93 fridge and a funky breakfast bar.
The camper’s body length of 4.5m is extended to a whopping 6.7m by rolling out the beds, a queen at the front and a double at the rear leaving the central section for living space. Mum and dad should bags the queen and children can spread out on the double or the convertible dinette.
I liked the surprisingly roomy feel inside, and with the curtains pulled back and the clears rolled up it has an airy open feel still protected by fly quality screens. The curtains slide easily and the canvas material along the sides fits snugly and is in five sections for easy removal and repair. With the three pass curtains closed for privacy the van can be almost completely blacked out, but with ventilation from a ceiling hatch over the stove.
Colours in the van were a mix of soft tones and darker hues in the deluxe upholstery. Benches are an off white stone look over a light timber veneer of the new lightweight poplar ply furniture. It’s worth mentioning that this new joinery is cut from computer controlled CNC machinery that ensures a perfect fit and it shows in the quality of finish. On the floor is a hardwearing Gerfloor vinyl in a 50s retro pattern that fitted in well with the club lounge style diner.
To the front the lounge wraps around the front and driver side and there’s seating for five or six adults around a removable 77cm x 86cm table. A bench on the kerb side has generous storage and would be an ideal place for a television while dinner is being prepared if the weather turns. It also acts as a servery with the clears rolled up to make a friendly breakfast bar for alfresco dining.
Towards the back of the camper the kitchen occupies both sides providing generous preparation benches and room to move in the central aisle. To accommodate the higher 93L three-way fridge the bench height has been raised to 810mm meaning that the camper sides are 50mm higher in the new model.
Alongside the fridge a Thetford Mini Grill mk3 4 burner cooktop with grill has a fold-down glass cover, while large pot drawers on sturdy stainless steel rollers occupy the under bench space. On the opposite side is another long bench with stainless steel sink with glass top and fold down mixer connected through 12v pump to the 62L water tank or to mains pressure.
Below the bench a 20L Daewoo microwave is fixed in place by Goldstream’s own customized bracket guaranteed not to work loose over rough roads.
All the Thetford appliances are fitted to that supplier’s specifications with regular audits from them to ensure correct procedure. Added to this, wiring is heavy-duty 6mm and Goldstream has long complied with the need for high gas vents inside the camper. These things add to the feeling that the company takes things seriously and add to the confidence a buyer should have when they drive away with a new van.
All fittings through the camper are neatly finished with the real attention to detail one would expect from a Goldstream product. They have long been one of the leaders in the local industry and the new composite finish exterior and the CNC furniture give the Storm a real lift in style.
Tare weight is 1290kg and the camper has a maximum carrying capacity of 300kg for an all up weight of 1590kg, well within the ability of most medium sized tow vehicles.
Price for the Vacationer starts at $32,500 and climbs to $35,900 with extras like the solar panel and the upgraded stove. That’s good value for a camper that offers such quality and livability. It should offer years of service and have decent resale value when the time comes to upgrade.
Manufacturer: Goldstream RV
Model: Gold Storm RL Vacationer Series 3
Country of manufacture: Australia
Overall length: 6.05m
Travel height: 1.57m
Tare weight: 1290kg
Gross weight: 1590kg
Ball weight: 145kg
Price from: $32,500
Price as reviewed: $35,990
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75 Bald Hill Rd Pakenham Vic 3810
Ph. 03 5941 5571